The world-renowned artificial intelligence tool, ChatGPT, has been making waves in the tech world since its release by OpenAI in November 2022. In just a week, the AI tool surpassed its competitors, including Google, in answering people’s queries. ChatGPT is a generative pre-trained transformer chatbot that is fed by the company’s data. People worldwide have become reliant on it for answering their questions. However, several countries have recently banned ChatGPT due to data privacy concerns.

The Italian government is the latest to ban ChatGPT, citing that the chatbot collects personal information, which is against the country’s rules. Italy’s Data Protection Authority views the data collection practices as a threat to people’s privacy. The chatbot recently experienced a data breach, which jeopardized users’ personal data, including chat history and payment information. OpenAI has since patched the bug that caused the breach.

Moreover, the Italian government is concerned about the breadth of data being retained and the lack of age verification to prevent minors from being exposed to inappropriate content. OpenAI has 20 days to address these concerns, or the company could face a fine of either $21 million or 4% of its annual revenue.

The Italian government’s move makes it the first government to ban ChatGPT temporarily. However, similar concerns have been raised globally, with the Center for AI and Digital Policy filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over ChatGPT’s latest version, describing it as having the ability to “undertake mass surveillance at scale.” The group has urged the FTC to halt OpenAI from releasing future versions until appropriate regulations are established. As the debate over data privacy and AI continues, the future of ChatGPT remains uncertain.


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